Hire the "I": Train the "R" | radioinfo

Hire the "I": Train the "R"

salesi_150.We've all had a salesperson who has excellent skills, seems to enjoy selling and yet consistently under performs.  At least, they under perform in OUR estimation.   But they are performing within their comfort zone. They are performing as they see themselves being able to perform.

The good news and the bad news is that people will perform only to the level that they see themselves performing.  If their level of expectation is too low, they may never reach their true potential as mature salespeople.  Their "role" as a salesperson has been modified to fit their "identity" as a person.

The reason that so much sales training fails is that it focuses only on technical sales skills and does not address the identity of the person who is being taught.  Technical sales skills deal with behavior.  Belief drives behavior.  People will adjust their behavior to operate in their comfort zone based on their identity.

As managers, we must "hire in" to people with strong identities.  If you ask someone to rate himself (his identity) on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, winners will consistently rate themselves as 7 or above.  The "at leasters" will rate themselves between 3 and 7.  Losers will rate themselves 3 or below.

People require "strokes".  "Conditional strokes" are based on role behavior.  "Unconditional strokes" are based on the person's identity.  We as managers can help to raise someone's identity by giving him unconditional strokes.

We should also manage the "I" side.  Think of your person as wearing a scuba suit.  You have the suit (R) and the person inside it (I).  When we need to correct "R" behavior, we should make sure we stop occasionally to check on how the "I" side is doing.  "This is an "R" side conversation.  If you start feeling it on your "I" side, stop me. "  Direct your corrections to the "R" side.

The easiest way to improve "R" side performance is to give "I" strokes. When a person has a strong identity, he can afford to risk failures in his role as a salesperson.  He can handle the rejection that comes with the job.

Simply correcting behavior will not solve the underlying problem of a poor identity.  People will adjust their behavior to operate in their comfort zone based on how they see themselves.   Does your current sales training address both the "role" and the "identity" of your sales staff?

Remember, if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.  There is a new way to look at sales success.

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